What does 'primary insurance status' mean?

What does 'primary insurance status' mean?

Some Medicare members have other insurance coverage in addition to a Medicare plan. If an insurance company has "primary insurance status" it means that the company will pay the member's healthcare claims first, and Medicare will pay second.

No matter which insurance company pays first, keep in mind that you will still be responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles and copayments, associated with either plan. 

Other types of insurance may include:

  • Auto insurance
  • Black lung benefits
  • Group health plans under certain conditions*
  • Homeowner's insurance
  • Workers' compensation
  • Veterans' benefits

If you do not have any other insurance, Medicare is your primary insurance. If this is the case, your doctor or specialist will submit all claims to Medicare first before billing you for your share. You will be responsible for paying all out-of-pocket expenses for services. 

If your other insurance company does not pay first in time, Medicare may make the payment with the intent to recover the payments from the primary insurer later. 

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What does 'primary insurance status' mean?